Running back Chris Johnson will sign a two-year deal with the Jets (Schefter, April 16).
Update – 4:36 p.m.: Johnon’s deal has a base value of $8 million, with $1 million in available incentives (PFT, April 16).
The 28-year-old is a three time pro-bowler (albeit not since 2010) and has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL and has been among the most durable running backs in the league, starting 116 games in each of the last five seasons.
He has 50 rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns in his career. He had a 4.6 yards per carry over his career, but that dipped to 3.9 YPC last season.
Johnson has almost 10,000 yards from scrimmage in his career.
He will join Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory in the backfield. This likely signals the end of Mike Goodson’s tenure with the Jets, coupled with his ongoing legal troubles.
What’s impressive about Johnson is that he’s a legitimate three-down back in an era where that’s a dying breed. Not only has Johnson not missed a game in five years, he’s also been in the top six for total snaps by a running back in each of the last four seasons. He therefore has a lot of experience on passing downs, both as a blocker (has stayed in to block 99 times on average in each of the past three seasons) and as a pass catcher (272 career receptions). >> Read more from Bent here…
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
According to Football Outsiders
, over the last five years the Tennessee Titans have never had a offensive line that ranked above the 19th spot in run-blocking, many times ranking among the league’s very worst units. While the Jets offensive line is a unit in flux, it’s hard not to think that just by placing him behind the Jets line he’ll see an increase in effectiveness. While the Jets are clearly paying Johnson more than they did Chris Ivory a year ago, the Jets will likely employ C&C (Touchdown Factory?) in a shared role. Ivory has proven to be a punishing runner between the tackles and Johnson gives the Jets a more dynamic every down runner than Bilal Powell.
For Corey Griffin’s thoughts on Johnson, click here…
UPDATE 8:03pm ET: Sidney Rice will return to the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal (Schefter, April 16).
On this morning’s Boomer and Carton show, Craig Carton revealed that a “very reliable person” has informed him that the Jets intend to bring in wide receiver Sidney Rice for a sit-down and that they are likely to sign him if everything works out.
Watch this clip to hear their discussion of the potential move and how it would impact upon the Jets’ offseason so far.
The 27-year old Rice tore his ACL last October and was released by the Seahawks in February. The former second round draft pick was a pro bowler in 2009 and caught 50 passes in his last full season (2012).
We wrote about reports of the Jets being interested in Rice last month. Since then, the Jets have added free agent Jacoby Ford to their receiving corps.
UPDATE 6:40pm ET:
One of the stats that will be thrown around in relation to Rice is the fact that he had the most targets and catches without a drop last season. However, despite this, he still had a disappointing catch rate of below 50%. I’m not sure that’s a big deal, anyway. The tight end with the most targets and catches and no drops was Kellen Winslow and nobody’s lining up to sign him right now.
Rice never really lived up to the five year, $41m deal he signed with the Seahawks a couple of seasons ago. However, if he can get healthy, he’s a potential upgrade over some of the players the Jets used at wide receiver over the past couple of seasons. The Jets have already upgraded the depth of their receiving corps though and figure to add at least one more receiver in the draft, so I don’t know if Rice would be a lock to make the team if he signed here.
Rice ran a 4.51 forty yard dash at the 2007 combine, but seven years and a serious knee injury later it’s highly unlikely he still possesses the athleticism he entered the league with. Nevertheless, he’s still capable of being productive as he showed against Jacksonville last September when he had five catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Chris Johnson left the Jets facility on Tuesday without a deal, he told reporters at the Knicks/Nets game in Brooklyn.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, taking my time, and whatever decision I make, it will be the best decision,” Johnson said (Cimini, April 16).
Johnson was released by the Titans two weeks ago. The Jets were the first team he has visited.
For Corey Griffin’s thoughts on Johnson, click here.
Corey Griffin, TheJetsBlog.com
Chris Johnson remains a free agent, and that’s OK.
That isn’t what some of you want to hear. You’re tired of waiting. I can understand that. Patience is a virtue, particularly in today’s round-the-clock-and-calendar NFL. Not every is willing to wait for Week 1. They want it in April.
But John Idzik rushes for no man, and while we can certainly debate whether that was wise two or three weeks ago, there is no doubt it is the wise course of action now.
Teams are closer to the draft and further from the start of free agency, meaning most have filled already multiple holes on their roster, some with high-salary additions. The Jets are not in this class, but its existence benefits them. To read more of this story, click here
- Johnson not ready to make his decision [New York Daily News]
- Johnson pros and cons [New York Post]
- Jets one of the teams showing most interest in Michael Sam? [Baltimore Sun]
- Winters compares badly in look at rookie interior linemen [PFF]
- Did the Jets pull out of “Draft Day” because of Sanchez? [The Big Lead]
Bloggers, media and sport fans used to heap scorn on Bleacher Report, mainly due to some questionable user-generated content that damaged the site’s reputation in its infancy. However, since their big money deal with Turner 18 months ago, they’ve added some talented and respected names as featured writers and a great deal of their content is now well worth checking out.
One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who – along with several other film junkies – is spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL’s top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they’ve just started releasing this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.
In our penultimate installment, we look at their rankings for outside linebackers. To look back at the previous updates go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
In their top 35 3-4 outside linebackers list, Miller and his colleagues rank Quinton Coples 29th. Calvin Pace was not ranked.
Here’s what they said about Coples:
One of our lowest-rated pass-rushing outside linebackers, Quinton Coples (6’6”, 290 lbs, two seasons) just didn’t provide the pass-rushing threat many were expecting would come in 2013. He looks to be moving in slow motion a lot of times, at least comparatively speaking to other outside linebackers.
Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.
To read more of this story, click here
Former Eagles safety Kurt Coleman, who had a visit with the Jets some weeks ago, signed yesterday with the Minnesota Vikings. (NFP, April 14)
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
While I’ve been a little down on the Jets lack of additions in free agency, this is one non-acquisition that I 100 percent support.
Coleman offered nothing different to the Jets that they didn’t already have with Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett. While Landry can call the defense, he’s better in support around the line of scrimmage and while we saw some flashes from Antonio Allen in 2013, there’s still question marks about the safeties in coverage.
Free agent running back Chris Johnson is visiting the Jets facility on Tuesday. It is his first visit with a team since being released by the Titans.
Update – 11:48 a.m.: Johnson will take a physical with the Jets on Tuesday (Mehta, April 15).
Update – 9:56 a.m.: “I would be very surprised if New York Jets don’t sign Chris Johnson,” Manish Mehta said (April 15).
Update – 9:12 a.m.: Multiple reports confirm that Johnson is at the facility today in Florham Park. (ESPN, April 15)
Update – 9:01 a.m.: Johnson was spotted last night in the Morristown.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Johnson might be signing with the Jets today, but then again the cagey John Idzik might just be feeling him out for a signing closer to the NFL Draft. Either way, the Jets could stand to benefit from adding a durable player like Johnson into a contributing, not fulltime role.
Teaming up the more dynamic Johnson with Chris Ivory would give the team some excellent versatility. Ivory would be the harder-nosed between the tackles player while Johnson could give the team more of a “home run” threat outside the tackles and in the passing game.
Johnson has been one of the most durable running backs in the league for years, but periodically spelling him won’t be a bad thing for his longevity and it adds an upgrade to the team if/when Chris Ivory gets injured.
- New York Jets could trade up for Anthony Barr? [SI]
- Mel Kiper Jr. makes Jets’ first three picks [NJ]
- Jets passed on chance to be in “Draft Day” movie [PFT]
- Daily draft dish: A sleeper at linebacker [ESPN NY]
- Mixed results for Jets when sending more than four pass rushers [PFF]
- Keller to be ready for 2014, Pats an option? [Comcast SportsNet New England]
From the Jets’ official site, Randy Lange writes about Joe Klecko, who is now eligible to be recommended for enshrinement by the Seniors Committee:
[The] folks who matter most this year are the media members who comprise the 46-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Nine of those members are on the Seniors Committee and in June they will reduce this year’s seniors ballot to 15 names. Then five of those nine members will convene in Canton in late August to select this year’s two Seniors Committee candidates … If Klecko, in his first year on the Seniors ballot, is one of those two, he stands an excellent shot at finally being inducted.
In a separate link, Lange lays out the timeline for Klecko’s candidacy, also revealing that 86.4% of the Seniors Committee nominees over the last 11 years have been voted into the Hall of Fame.
Having been eligible for 20 years and never reached the finalist stage, nomination by the Seniors Committee could offer an ideal opportunity for a player like Klecko to get the recognition he deserves. Some Jets fans believe the system is flawed and that inferior candidates are enshrined every year while Klecko barely receives any consideration. The 46 writers who make up the Selection Committee include one representative from each team and 14 “at-large” representatives. The Jets’ representative is Gary Myers of the New York Daily News
while Bob Glauber of Newsday
is also on the committee, as the representative for the Giants.
Klecko played 11 of his 12 seasons as a Jet and was a four-time pro bowler and two time all-pro. He was a pro bowler at three different positions and led the league with 20.5 sacks in 1981, as he was named the defensive player of the year by the Pro Football Writers Association.
Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman has been one of the most outspoken proponents for Klecko’s enshrinement, but he sadly had to step down from the Selection Committee following a stroke in 2008. As Lange notes, Klecko’s peers also spoke very highly of him with the likes of Dwight Stephenson, Joe DeLamielleure and Anthony Munoz speaking out on his behalf.
You can read Bassett’s TJB Hall of Fame tribute to Klecko here.